All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

Leave a comment

Last Call

The dark forests are calling;
they sing to my soul.
The draw is so strong;
it beckons me to come,
to step into its shadowy embrace
and to disappear.
To make my way,
or to make an end to things,
to let go of the pains of the flesh,
the pangs of the heart,
the pallid desires of mere mind,
and give over my earthly remains to the earth.
The song is so strong.
I can smell moss and leaf loam,
fungus and flowers, rain if I rest.
No more struggle, only sleep.
No more sorrow, only solitude.
No more loneliness, only love,
as the forest loves all things
it gathers into its embrace.
Love, as it loves deer and fox,
owl and snake, oak and fern, vine and thorn.

Shall I walk into those woods,
and make my last bed, and lie in it?


Leave a comment


There is field,
and there is forest.
The field leads up to the forest,
and green gives way to green;
the forest is a darker green,
kin to black,
the dividing line quite clear.
The birds in the woods fall silent as I approach;
Robin, swallow, starling, and sparrow all fall silent
as I step off the soft grasses
and step onto softer mosses.
Instantly, I am enveloped:
around me tower tall oaks,
tall pines, beech, maple;
their scent fills my nostrils–
rich resins, the heady smell of decaying leaves,
the sweet greenness of herbs:
a very particular sort of magic.
Silence lasts for but a moment,
and then the music of the woods returns:
the songs of birds,
the soughing of branches in the wind,
the rustle of deer and squirrels moving between the trees.
I listen to the songs,
listen to what the wind and trees and birds
have to tell me;
there is wisdom in their voices.
Ant and spider, dragonfly and butterfly,
bee and wasp work and worry and drone;
crow and hawk, mourning dove and whippoorwill,
owl and falcon fly and flit and soar.
Raccoon and possum, coyote and fox,
fish and frog run and creep and swim.

I walk, and I listen;
I walk, and I whisper;
I walk, and I pray.

These are my songs.
This is the song of the forest.
Woven between the two is a harmony,
and the harmony flows,
and the harmony soars,
and the harmony lifts my soul on wings of dream.

I am the forest.
The forest is me.
And we are one.

Leave a comment

Palisade of Bones

A spadeful at a time, I turn the earth,
clearing away yesterday’s garbage:
broken glass, rusty nails, plastic chip bags,
shattered crockery, dirt-dulled toys,
then replace this debris with things far cleaner,
closer to the soil and closer to the air.
Things that lived once, like man’s trash never did,
things that belonged to the land, in life,
and still do now that they have passed.
Bones of deer, bones of raccoon
— possum, mouse, fox, rabbit,
shrew and toad, snake and turtle,
fish and starling, coyote and groundhog.
Each foot of the yard takes a handful of lives,
souls clinging to these old white relics,
interred at last below the surface of the dirt
where once they ran, slept, played, ate, fucked, flew;
a foundation for a forest of spirits.
In places, hints of white peep an inch or so
above the soil: I do not dig deep, but wide,
and these spikes — ribs, femurs, tibia —
seem like the poles of an old fence,
whiter by far than any sun-bleached wood could ever be.
They tell me they are glad to be there,
buried with love and care, spoken to with respect,
whether they died a natural death
— starvation, winter cold, predation, disease —
or at the end of a hail of shot,
or under the tires of a car,
or leg-caught in the top wires of a fence
they couldn’t quite jump over,
or spasming out their lives after eating poisoned bait.
I do this, I lift them gently, set them down,
cover them over with shallow shovelfuls of dirt,
singing to them, whispering the names they’ve told me,
partly of desire, partly of remorse, partly in redemption:
am I not born of that same species
that sends so many who are not like us
to their doom? Whether to save our crops,
put food on my table, or through accident,
unable to stop a car gone too fast
when lithe leap of brown flashes in front,
still so many of these deaths can be laid at our table.
And so, if you will,
call me builder, call me gravedigger,
call me deathsinger, call me friend.
Just let me do my duty and my joy,
watch if you must, but do not interfere,
and do not doubt that these who I lay to rest
are as real to me as you are
and sometimes more.